TRAVEL TIPS: How to Avoid Jet Lag
How to Avoid Jet Lag
Jet lag can ruin a holiday if you’re falling asleep over breakfast and staring at the ceiling at night. Then perhaps follow these easy steps to be jet-lag-free.
Most people who have done a long-haul flight have experienced the debilitating result of super-fast international travel; the one that causes normally high-functioning adults to fall dead asleep in their soup before main course. However, according to meditation expert and founder of 1 Giant Mind, Jonni Pollard, jet lag isn’t inevitable. Pollard says there are several elements necessary for reducing the effects of jet lag and if you get them right, it will never darken your door – or under your eyes – again.
The basic principles seem almost too simple. Pollard says ensure you’re well-rested, organised and relaxed in the lead-up to your trip. Second, keep yourself well-hydrated before and during the flight. Third, he says it’s important to protect and stimulate your digestion. Finally, readjust your sleep schedule to the hours of your destination, and don’t sleep outside night-time hours. Sound easier said than done? Here’s how Pollard does it.
To stay hydrated, Pollard says, he drinks three glasses of warm water before he gets on the plane, then drinks a glass of warm water or herbal ginger tea with lemon, every hour on the flight. “Avoid cold drinks and ice at all costs,” Pollard advises. Doing this keeps the colon hydrated.
Digestion can become sluggish when you’re not moving around. To keep things moving, take a ginger tablet before flying and if your destination is cold, take another when you land. When it comes to food, Pollard says to take it easy on the plane. Stick to warm, moist foods and avoid bread and crackers, cold desserts, alcohol and coffee.
To prepare yourself for your new waking hours, it’s important to try to adjust your sleep schedule. “Set your watch to the time zone you’re heading into and meditate every two hours for 30 to 60 minutes – this is the golden secret,” Pollard says. “Only sleep within the sleeping hours of the time zone you are entering.”
During the flight, try to get up and stretch every few hours. “Simple postures such as leaning forward and letting your head and neck flop is enough to get blood to the brain and mobilise the lower spine,” says Pollard.
When you finally arrive, take a warm bath or shower and moisturise your skin, which could be dry from the plane. Meditate and make sure you drink lots of water – double what you’d usually consume. If you’ve arrived in the morning, don’t take a nap even if you’re exhausted. Meditate sitting-up to rest, and once more in the early evening before dinner. Avoid alcohol and have an early night. “The result will be minimal to zero jet lag,” Pollard promises.